Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted
66 Officers Feloniously Killed in 2016
A total of 118 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2016, according to the FBI’s annual Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) report released today. Of those deaths, 52 were accidental and 66 were felonious.
Additionally, 57,180 officers were assaulted in the line of duty, with nearly 30 percent of those officers being injured in the incidents.
All of these numbers increased from figures reported in 2015, when 45 officers died accidentally and 41 were feloniously killed in the line of duty. There were 50,212 assaults against law enforcement listed in the 2015 LEOKA report.
Through its Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the FBI collects data about the circumstances surrounding assaults against law enforcement and officer deaths. The data is collected from campus, local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as FBI field offices and non-profit organizations that track line-of-duty deaths. The LEOKA Program uses the data it collects to provide data-driven officer safety training to law enforcement officers around the country.
Of the 66 officers who were killed in criminal incidents:
- The average age was 40 years old, with an average of 13 years of law enforcement experience.
- Sixty-four of the officers feloniously killed were men, and two were women.
- Nearly all of the officers were killed by firearms—62 out of 66. Of the 62 officers killed by firearms, 51 were wearing body armor at the time they were killed.
- Four officers were killed intentionally with vehicles.
- The most common categories of circumstance surrounding officers’ line-of-duty deaths were ambushes (17), followed by answering disturbance calls (13), and investigating suspicious people or circumstances (nine). (For more information on these incidents, see the summaries section of the report.)
Of the 52 officers who were killed in accidents:
- The average age was 38 years old, with an average of 11 years of law enforcement experience.
- Fifty of the officers accidentally killed were men, and two were women.
- Half of the law enforcement officers killed accidentally in 2016 were killed in auto accidents—26 of the 52. Additionally, 12 were struck by vehicles, and seven were killed in motorcycle accidents.
The annual LEOKA report also contains a separate section on federal law enforcement officers who were killed or assaulted in the line of duty last year. According to the 2016 federal data, one federal law enforcement officer was killed and 324 were injured.
LEOKA Resources Page
Although LEOKA is an annual report released each October, the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division regularly updates the statistics on its LEOKA Resources Page. Visit the page for updated preliminary statistics on law enforcement officer line-of-duty deaths, including the breakdown of accidental and felonious deaths. The LEOKA Resources page also features links to previous LEOKA annual reports and information on law enforcement safety training.